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Hands held together to form heart shape


In the previous item you have listened to Jenny Molloy reflect upon and talk about her experience of being looked after and loved by residential carers and social workers.

She spoke powerfully about the hugely important function this played for her. She also reflected upon some of the challenges that can exist for adults and staff in trying to achieve this. Love can often be a taboo word or concept and somehow be equated with being unprofessional or crossing a boundary. Yet we know that children and young people require love and that feeling of being special if they are going to be able to grow, develop and thrive. It was Urie Bronfenbrenner who made the statement:

Every kid needs at least one adult who is crazy about him.

So when children and young people come into the care of the state – be that foster care, residential care or some other arrangement – how do those responsible for providing them with their care allow them to feel loved and know that someone is crazy about them?

Read the article by Dr Laura Steckley entitled ‘What’s Love got to do with it?’. This article appeared in the January 2014 edition of the free to access online journal CYC-Online.

This journal is aimed at those working in the field of child and youth care (CYC), you’ve been introduced to this elsewhere this week. In this article Laura reflects upon some of the challenges involved for practitioners as they attempt to care for and love the children and young people they encounter. She finishes by concluding that how we approach this task should be informed by what the children and young people themselves tell us, rather than merely concentrating on any professional notion of boundaries.

All of our struggles to gain some clarity about this and many other vitally important areas of practice need to be informed by the views and experiences of the recipients of our care, particularly care-leavers who have had a chance to make some sense of their experiences of the care system.

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This article is from the free online course:

Caring for Vulnerable Children

University of Strathclyde